Winners chosen in annual Shakespeare Monologue and Scenes competition
February 20, 2017 10:09 PM
Michael Henninger for the Pittsb
Logan Shiller, left, CAPA, and Carolyn Jerz, homeschooled, embrace after being named co-winners of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's 2017 Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest's Upper Division Monologue category at the O'Reilly Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017.
By Sharon Eberson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 23rd annual Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest that began Feb. 6 with more than 1,000 student participants culminated Monday night, when winners were crowned after the Showcase of Finalists.
In the Monologue competition, there was a tie for the top spot in the Upper Division (grades eight through 12): Carolyn Jerz, who is home-schooled, as Eleanor in “Henry VI, Part Two,” shared the win with Pittsburgh CAPA’s Logan Shiller as Iago in “Othello.” In the Lower Division (grades four through seven), Jaylen Hocker of Jefferson Elementary School won as Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice.”
In the Scene contest, Lower Division, Ethan Atta, John Bence, Henry Dingle, Michael Liguori and Jackson Vollmer of Aquinas Academy emerged the winners for a scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and the Upper Division scene winners were Ryan Horn and Cassi Smith of Magnolia High School in West Virginia, as Petruchio and Katherina in “The Taming of the Shrew.”
During the nine-day event, contestants performed monologues and/or scenes they had chosen from the works of William Shakespeare and were evaluated by teams of judges until competitors were chosen for the Showcase of Finalists Monday night at the Public’s O’Reilly Theater, Downtown.
Judges who participated during the competition were actors Linda Haston, Amy Landis and Timothy D. Stickney, the latter a cast member of the Public’s “Twelfth Night”; Philip Horn, executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Ted Pappas, producing artistic director of the Public; and Richard E. Rauh, a contest sponsor.
This year’s contest was part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The contest is organized by Katie Conaway, the Pittsburgh Public’s director of education and outreach.
The rest of the finalists were:
LOWER DIVISION MONOLOGUES
Samantha Lubbert, Highcliff Elementary School (“As You Like It”), Rosalind/Ganymede.
Kira Mukogosi, Hope Academy of Music and the Arts (“The Two Noble Kinsmen”), Jailer’s Daughter.
Simon Nigam, Falk Laboratory School (“Richard III”), (“Richard III”).
Jack Small, Pittsburgh Liberty K-5 (“As You Like It”), Rosalind.
Nora Steckline, Environmental Charter School (“As You Like It”), Jaques.
LOWER DIVISION SCENES
Dillon Ferraro, Abbey Hahn, Aria Ogle, Cassie Plutorak, Lorenzo Zottoli of Marshall Middle School (“Macbeth”), Macbeth, Banquo and The Witches.
Maya Burley and Zaida Collins of Hope Academy of Music and the Arts (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), Bottom and Titania.
Spencer Lehrian and Keith Merritt of Trinity Christian School (“The Two Gentlemen of Verona”), Launce and Speed.
Maia Ramirez and Xavier Ramirez of Falk Laboratory School (“Hamlet”), Ophelia and Hamlet.
UPPER DIVISION MONOLOGUES
Josh Brelsford of Winchester Thurston (“Henry IV”), Prince Hal.
Michelle Do of North Hills Senior High School (“Julius Caesar”), Antony.
Liz Druschel of Beaver Area Middle School/High School (“Richard III”), Lady Anne.
Kayli Lemieux of Moon Area High School (“As You Like It”), Phebe.
UPPER DIVISION SCENES
Brayden Freund and Shay Freund of Independent (“Love’s Labour’s Lost”), Moth and Armado.
Kate McQuillan and Morgan Medding of Fort Couch Middle School (“The Two Gentlemen of Verona”), Lucetta and Julia.
Paul Jetter and Quasai Smalls of Woodland Hills Jr./Sr. High School (“The Winter’s Tale”), Clown and Autolycus.
Carolyn Abramowich and Elana Santoro of Avonworth High School (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), Hermia and Helena.
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